Influence and experiences are like a stamp leaving an indelible impression. An impression that can be sourced from later in life or simply be a soul-force base upon which layers of definition and spirit can grow, building and shaping the artist.
Hubbard was truly a lyrical player. One of his earliest influences was Wes Montgomery, who was a mentor. That fluid, almost vocal style of the guitarist left its impression deep in the artistry of Hubbard.
In the 1960s, the lyrical signature was inspired by the greatest of the sax players of the day and Hubbard expressed his sound this way: “During that period I was changing the style of the trumpet. I was trying to play the trumpet like a saxophone. I was playing more intervals. And I was trying to make those long glissandos. Trumpet players don’t do that.”
The sound is distinctive, and later in his career he suffered a split lip affecting his intensity as a player but not dampening his spirit as an artist. He found a way to express himself in a deeper, more soulful way. The lyrical Freddie Hubbard soundscape never strayed no matter how he played.